State Police has caught four red sander smugglers and seized 29 logs of ‘A-1’ grade red sanders worth Rs one crore in the Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh.
Smugglers had dumped the red sanders logs three days ago after cutting them.
Red Sanders is a rare kind of sandalwood that is in high demand in international market and costs around Rs.1,500 to Rs.2,000 a kg.
Pterocarpus santalinus, with the common names red sanders, red sandalwood, and saunderswood, is a species of Pterocarpus endemic to the southern Eastern Ghats mountain range of South India.
Its export is banned in India. This wood is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.
In the last three years alone (between 2012-13 to 2014-15), at least 4658 tonnes of read sander wood has been seized in India resulting in arrest of around 11,000 people, mainly across Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh where this kind of wood is primarily found.
Its primary use, however, is decorative and ornamental. The major markets for the wood are China, Japan, the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal.
This tree is valued for the rich red color of its wood. The wood is not aromatic. The tree is not to be confused with the aromatic Santalum sandalwood trees that grow natively in South India.